MIAMI (CBSMiami) – US Coast Guard officials announced Thursday the interdiction of 4,000 pounds of cocaine throughout the Caribbean, worth nearly $73 million.

Officials said the interdictions were a direct result of the partnerships with crews aboard Dutch, British and U.S. naval ships with embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment boarding teams who worked jointly with U.S. Southern Command and other Department of Defense agencies to detect and interdict illegal drugs and stopping the flow of drugs throughout the Caribbean.

“Coast Guard law enforcement detachments – or LEDETs – are highly specialized and play a vital role in the fight against illicit drug trafficking in the maritime domain,” said Rear Adm. Eric C. Jones, commander of Seventh Coast Guard District. “Our LEDETs deploy with the U.S. Navy and Allied navies supporting enhanced counter narcotics operations, bringing broad law enforcement authority critical to successful interdictions throughout the Caribbean Basin.”

Authorities said that on April 1 of this year, U.S. Southern Command began enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to disrupt the flow of drugs in support of Presidential National Security Objectives. Numerous U.S. agencies from the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security cooperated in the effort to combat transnational organized crime. The Coast Guard, Navy, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with allied and international partner agencies, play a role in counter-drug operations.

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